In a landmark 6-3 vote on Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that employers may not discriminate against employees based upon sexual orientation or gender identity, thereby upholding Title VII the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. That federal law prohibits workplace discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex.
Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed to the High Court by President Donald Trump, wrote in the majority opinion, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”
Chief Justice John Roberts joined Gorsuch and the Court’s liberal Justices in writing that sex is a distinct characteristic, but it cannot be separated from the concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hoboken Councilman Mike DeFusco, who serves as Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization’s LGBTQ+ Caucus that was founded twelve months ago, wrote in an email to Hudson TV this afternoon:
Hudson County Clerk E. Junior Maldonado, who also is a member of the LGBTQ community, said in an email to Hudson TV, “I’m ecstatic over today’s decision by the Supreme Court. LGBTQ people have worked tirelessly to gain this type of protection and deserve equal treatment in all workplaces. This decision solidifies the fact that federal law protects their right to equality when it comes to workplace protection for all.”
Today’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court is the most significant ruling for the LGBTQ community since the 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage. Prior to today’s ruling, employment discrimination against the LGBTQ community was still “technically” legal in much of the country, as less than 50 percent of the states have laws on the books prohibiting such job discrimination.
There are an estimated 8 million openly LGBTQ employees in the United States.
THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH AN ADDITIONAL QUOTE.